Late Autumn Garden

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The garden reminds me that time goes on whether or not I have been able to move forward with projects.  It brings me joy to see plants flourishing in the relatively short time they have been in the ground.

My husband and I planted mini cyclamen near our front door as a pretty entry to cope with only morning sun conditions at least 2 years ago and they are gorgeous for most of the year, just withering away during summer when the hydrangea perks up.

Mini cyclamen in a row in front of two hydrangeas

Mini cyclamen in a row in front of two hydrangeas

The first year they did that, we had thought we lost them and would have to plant something else, but they sprang up again and even self-seeded.  It seems nature has decided to fill in the gaps around the hydrangeas, and we’re very happy to see more mini cyclamen there.

The flourishing mini cyclamen in bloom in May 2014

The flourishing mini cyclamen in bloom in May 2014

In the backyard, the hardenbergia “Happy Wanderer” is settling in nicely.  I planted it in October 2013 after the tree removals, and mulch had been spread.  Initially it looked like it was a bit unhappy until I sprinkled the area with blood and bone and watered it in.

The hardenbergia growing up the trellis along the fence

The hardenbergia growing up the trellis along the fence

It was amazing how quickly it shot up in summer.  I could see a 10 cm difference in a few days!  And now it has little buds like it will be covered in purple flowers later this year…  It ties in my colour vision of the backyard for purple, yellow, and red tones.

The hardenbergia preparing to bloom

The hardenbergia preparing to bloom

Here is a rough sketches of ideas for the backyard garden beds.  This doesn’t include the hardscape elements, just the idea of size of the beds and relative location.  As it happens, the PDC has taught me some valuable lessons and I have changed my thinking about the right hand side area.

Backyard left garden bed design sketch

Backyard left garden bed design sketch

The x’s are for where the plants are to go.  I decided to just put the shrubs in and see how big they grow before considering ground covers as well.  They may just fill up the space as so far the tick bush (Kunzea Ambigua) has tripled its size!

The tick bush is steadily growing

The tick bush is steadily growing

I can’t wait to see this mature.  I fell in love with this plant on a family holiday to Wilsons Prom in 2006 and promised myself that I would one day plant one in the garden of my own home. I haven’t seen this plant at any local nurseries, but ended up sourcing it from Online Plants, along with a woolly bush (Adenanthos Silver Streak), and a banksia “honey baby” (Banksia blechnifolia).

A tick bush growing at Wilsons Prom in 2006.  The honey fragrance is delicious!

A tick bush growing at Wilsons Prom in 2006. The honey fragrance is delicious!

I absolutely adore its fuzzy, honey scented flowers, and I’ll be interested to see if it attracts the honeyeaters that come to our garden for the grevillea tree.  Ideally, I would love little birds to come to our garden, but the big open areas and family of magpies that live nearby would discourage them.  I wondered if it would grow well where it is as the firm clay make it challenging to even dig the hole for it.  I dug a bigger hole than needed for the pot size and back-filled with a native soil mix from Bunnings so that it would have a chance.

And here is the correa.  It has already shown us flowers peaking out from the lower stems and is coping with its spot next to the compost bin.  The honeyeaters may like this one too once it’s big enough in years to come.

The correa is filling up its space in the garden

The correa is filling up its space in the garden

All these spots are in part shade, and the natives should cope with low water conditions once they are established.  The other established natives have not needed water, even during the extended 40+ degrees heat we have experienced in the past couple of years.  I can’t help but think this trend will continue, especially when reading articles like this Research shows Antarctica may be the reason for SA dry climate.  It’s better to be prepared, is my way of thinking.

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